Saturday, November 17, 2018

1999 BMW 540iT

Something quick for the weekend...

BMW never made an E39 M5 wagon. This is the most powerful wagon you could get. And although it doesn't have an M badge on it, it is still a very desirable car.

The E39 is not without its faults. The cooling system has been known to cause problems. Suspension bushings fail often. Valve cover gaskets also fail. Most of these problems are, by BMW standards, relatively easy to fix. Upgraded parts will make these issues less frequent. The one big - expensive - problem the E39 sometimes has is automatic transmission failure. I say "sometimes" because there seems to be no consistency in when (and if) they fail. I recently sold my 2000 528iT with 278,000 miles on it. The automatic transmission was fine. But, do a search on the web and you'll see plenty of stories about them failing at 60,000 miles or less. All things being equal, I have no idea why some last damn near forever and some fail early. Driving style, maybe? I don't know. (BMW calls its ATF "lifetime" fluid. Many people claim you can extend the life of the transmission by changing it at around 100K. My car had over 100K on it when I bought it. I've heard enough stories about high mileage transmissions - not just the ones installed in BMWs - failing after changing the fluid to decide to leave it alone. Oddly BMW used two different automatic transmissions in the E39; one made by ZF and one made by GM. Both are prone to early failures or to not fail at all. Why? I have no idea. It's one of those mysteries of life, I guess.)

If all that hasn't scared you, lets talk about this car...

This appears to be a very well cared for 540iT. It has a few upgrades including M5 wheels and angel eye headlamps. The body looks very clean and the interior looks immaculate. It has 177,000 miles on it.

You really would want some maintenance history with a car like this. Unfortunately, it's being offered by a dealer and it has been my experience that dealers rarely have service history. However, this dealer deals in high end cars. If this was a trade-in he may (and that's a big "may") allow you to contact the previous owner. If not, have a very knowledgeable BMW mechanic go over it.

Located in New Kensington, PA, click here to see the Craigslist ad. Click here to see the dealer's website which has more pictures, but less info, than the Craigslist ad.

1 comment:

Another Renault Guy said...

On my list to own someday! Love the e39 wagons! Not too far from me either! Most of your posts are right in line with my interests! Keep up the good work!